New Year’s resolutions can help preschoolers learn goal setting
New Year is a time for new beginnings and an opportunity to evolve and grow. New Year’s resolutions are not just helpful for adults but can help young children in setting goals and being responsible. Kids ‘R’ Kids shares the importance of New Year’s resolutions for preschoolers and how caregivers can help set some realistic goals for them.
Goal setting is an important part of any child's development as it teaches them how to be responsible. Making commitments and following through with them is a skill that is valuable for life. Helping young children set realistic and fun New Year's resolutions that are realistic is a great way of helping children learn goal setting and responsibility.
How to set New Year’s Resolutions?
A discussion with children about what they would like to accomplish in the new year is a good place to start. For instance, they may want to try new foods, take on new chores, learn new skills or make more friends. The resolution setting must be without pressure and focus on what the child wants. Following the rules of “SMART” goals, here’s a breakdown of what it means:
- Specific: Goals that give clear direction and purpose to the child
- Measurable: Some activity that can be measured daily, weekly or monthly
- Achievable: Goals that are within the reach of the child
- Relevant: Goals that the child is excited about.
Sticking to the goals
Making and sticking to these resolutions help children develop various skills including self-reflection, self-advocacy, self-awareness, and self-esteem. How can caregivers help preschoolers stick to their resolutions?
- Start small: Preschoolers need only small goals that help them focus on positive, healthy ideas to build the skills they are working on. Therefore, start with small steps that inculcate the habit of goal setting.
- Set aside time each day: All habits are created by being consistent. Set aside a time every day for an activity that will lead up to the achievement of the goal.
- Don’t quit: It is easy to get sidetracked or demotivated when chasing goals even for adults. But this detour can be used as an opportunity to make the children realize that one can always get back on track instead of quitting completely.
- Work on the goal together: Preschoolers are too young to manage their goals without supervision and help. Take out time to sit with them as they do the goal activity, model behavior that is in the goal, or do the task with them can motivate them and ensure that they actually fulfill the steps required to accomplish the goal.
- Positive language: Any goal must not elicit a negative feeling in children. Language plays a crucial role here. Caregivers must focus on positive reinforcements such as, “Pick the toys before bed.” instead of, “Don’t be messy.” Resolutions that focus on negative behaviors can be disheartening for children.
- Track progress: It is important to track the progress made to feel motivated. Creating a chart or using an app can help to measure progress. Attaching certain rewards to every small goal achieved can help stick to the long-term goal. These rewards can be monetary or in-kind, whatever is more meaningful to the child. For instance, a trip to the park can be a great reward for a child who has worked hard to clean up the room. This also helps children regulate their natural urge for instant gratification.
Why Kids ‘R’ Kids?
The philosophy of “Hug First, Then Teach”, defines every aspect of what Kids ‘R’ Kids, Circa Fishhawk stands for. Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, its methodology is a whole-child approach. It constantly strives to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of its childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents.
Kids ‘R’ Kids International is accredited by AdvancED®, the world’s largest education community, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI). SACS/CASI is an accreditation division of AdvancED®. This accreditation ensures that the high accreditation standards are met and exceeded.
Call today at (813) 654-7000 to learn more about the Kids ‘R’ Kids before and after school programs (Kindergarten to Grade 5) or to schedule a visit.